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Making INSPIRE data easier to use – alternative encodings, better client support and management of good practices

Alexander Kotsev and Michael Lutz

(Submission #325)


The current data specification TGs define (complex) xml schemas based on GML as the default encoding for all INSPIRE spatial data themes. Many existing (web and desktop) applications and tools have difficulties in consuming and/or fully making use of data shared according to these schemas. The complex structures in the schemas result from the automatic generation according to the UML-to-GML encoding rules, which reproduce in the xml schema the complex structures present in the conceptual model. In contrast, most existing clients, including the popular GDAL/OGR open source library (that is underlying most OS and proprietary client solutions) consumes and writes flat data structures, where e.g. each attribute can only have at most one value and attributes can have only simple types (e.g. integer, string, boolean) and not complex ones. This means that, while INSPIRE data encoded according to the current schemas can be downloaded and viewed, simple use (visualisation, simple joins, visual overlays, spatial search, …) is difficult in standard GIS clients. Two actions in the current Maintenance and Implementation work programme are addressing this issue from two different, complementary directions.

In order to promote good practices to the wider INSPIRE implementation community, a light-weight procedure for proposing, documenting, reviewing and publishing good practices has recently been endorsed by the INSPIRE expert group on maintenance and implementation (MIG). The procedure does not replace, but rather builds on existing resources to support the INSPIRE community, including the “Thematic Clusters” and the “INSPIRE in Practice” platforms, while providing documented evidence and a defined link between current implementation practices & needs and the MIG. The presentation will introduce the new procedure and illustrate how it can be used for a number of examples.


Topic Area:  [3.6] Making INSPIRE work for ICT developers
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Academic:   Yes
Data Provider:   Yes
Data User:   Yes
INSPIRE Implementer (IT):   Yes
INSPIRE newbies:   Yes
Policy Officers:   Yes
Public Administration (MS/Regional/Local):   Yes
Thematic specialists:   Yes

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